Dodgers Inside Report - September 24

   Playing for pride sounds like a noble approach for teams that have had their playoff hopes dashed with weeks or days remaining in their season. The Dodgers slipped into that category last week thanks to a 1-6 road trip.

   Can they shake off their disappointment of not reaching the playoffs and focus on spoiling things for the Rockies? Can they show their fans that the Dodgers-Giants rivalry still means something, despite the fact that both teams have settled to the bottom of the NL West? Do the Dodgers' final six games really mean anything?

   The Dodgers think they do.

   "There is probably not going to be as much adrenaline flowing," outfielder Andre Ethier said. "But if you're in a close game against a team that's in it and you have a chance to knock them out, you can get those juices flowing."

   The Dodgers have plenty of reason to get those juices flowing. One starts with the Rockies, the team that essentially ended the Dodgers' chances of playing October baseball. It was the Rockies who swept the Dodgers in a four-game series at Coors Field last week and moved to within one game of the wild-card lead with an eight-game winning streak. The Rockies will play three games at Dodger Stadium this week and the Dodgers are in position to return the favor.

   "We're big-league ballplayers," veteran outfielder Luis Gonzalez said. "We've got a lot of pride. Colorado has been playing well and they're starting to feel the itch of trying to sneak into the playoffs."

   The final three games of the season will be against the Giants and essentially be for pride. The Giants are another team that undermined the Dodgers' playoff hopes by winning two of three games in a recent series at AT&T Park. They went 4-14 in the 18 games that followed that weekend series.

   "Luckily enough, we're closing out against our rivals," Ethier said. "It's a good series to wrap up our season with. Too bad it has to be the last games of the year.

   "No matter the situation, up or down, in a race or not in a race, it comes down to just doing your job and doing it well."

Notes and Quotes
   --RHP Jonathan Broxton returned to the mound and pitched one perfect inning Sunday. It was his first appearance since Sept. 19, when he gave up a home run to the Rockies' Brad Hawpe and later said his arm was a little sore. "I'm not going to try to rush back," Broxton said. "I don't want to get hurt in the last eight games of the season."

   --RHP Jonathan Meloan has allowed three runs in 4 1/3 innings (6.23 ERA) since being recalled at the beginning of September. He's also walked six and struck out five. "He's gotten himself into a couple of jams and gotten himself out of a couple of jams," manager Grady Little said of his young reliever. "He's got good stuff and we feel like he's got a good future. He's got to make sure he's breathing."

   --SS Rafael Furcal has missed the last six games with stiffness in his lower back. He tried taking swings during batting practice in Arizona but was not yet ready to resume playing. He continues to be listed as day to day.

   --LHP Mark Hendrickson is 2-0 with a 3.02 ERA as a Dodgers relief pitcher, dating back to Sept. 2, 2006.

   --OF Juan Pierre leads the National League with 20 sacrifice bunts and is the hardest batter to strike out in the league this season. Pierre fans once every 19.4 at-bats. Houston's Mark Loretta is second with one strikeout for every 12.2 at-bats.

By the Numb3rs
: 23 -- The number of runs by which the Dodgers have been outscored during their third six-game losing streak of the season.

*M*A*S*H* 4077 Report
   INF Tony Abreu (sore hip flexor) was injured in the Sept. 23 game and is day to day.

   INF Ramon Martinez (hyperextended left elbow) was injured on Sept. 18, and may not return this season.

   SS Rafael Furcal (stiff lower back) took himself out of the first game of the doubleheader on Sept. 18. He didn't play Sept. 19-23, and he is day-to-day.    RHP Derek Lowe (bruised right hand) missed his Sept. 12 start, but he was back on the mound Sept. 15 and pitched seven strong innings.

   LHP Randy Wolf (tender left shoulder) went on the disabled list July 4. He pitched on a rehab assignment July 25 but emerged with more shoulder irritation. He had season-ending surgery Sept. 5.

   OF Jason Repko (torn left hamstring) opened the season on the disabled list. He had surgery March 28 and is expected to be out for the season. He was moved to the 60-day disabled list Aug. 29.

   LHP Hong-Chih Kuo (sore left elbow) went on the disabled list retroactive to July 1. He had arthroscopic surgery to remove a bone chip from his left elbow July 25. He was transferred to the 60-day DL on Sept. 4, and he is out for the season.

   RHP Chin-hui Tsao (strained right shoulder) went on the disabled list July 15. He was ready to start a throwing program in early August, but renewed pain put those plans on hold.

   RHP Jason Schmidt (sore right shoulder) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 17. He underwent exploratory surgery on June 20, and a torn labrum was discovered. He was transferred to the 60-day disabled list on Aug. 13 and will miss the rest of the season.

   RHP Yhency Brazoban (strained right shoulder) went on the disabled list June 1. He cut short a throwing session June 15, and he was subsequently diagnosed with a torn labrum. He underwent surgery June 22 and is out for the season.